The JVorid, the Flesh, and the Devil. 3
A feather blown across her pathway might be enough to divert
her fancy into another channel. He knew her well enough to know
tliat there was no such thing as certainty where she was concerned;
but on the off chance he went to Parson's Green, and his eye ran
eagerly along the double lino of carriages, looking for Mrs.
Champion's liveries. ^
Y^es, it was there, the barouche with its sober colouring, and the
men in their dark brown coats, black velvet breeches, and silk
stockings, and the fine upstanding Cleveland baj's, strong enough
to pull a Carter-Patterson van, yet with enough breeding for beauty.
Wealth expressed itself here in that chastened form which educa¬
tion has imposed even upon the cit. The money that had bought
that perfect equipage had all been made amidst the steam and din
of the Stock Exchange, but the carriage and its appointments were
every whit as perfect as those of her Grace of Uplandshire, which
stood next in the rank.
She was there—the woman he wanted to see and speak with on
this his last day.
" I am coming, my love, my sweet," he muttered to himself, as
he wrote his name in the big book in the hall, the record by which
Lady Fridoline was able to find out how many strangers and out¬
siders had been imposed upon her hospitality in the shape of friends'
The crowd was tremendous; the house and grounds buzzed with
voices, through which from the bosquet yonder cut the sharp twang¬
ing notes of a Tyrolese Volkslied, accompfinied on the Streichzither;
while from an inner drawing-room sounded the long-drawn chords
of a violin attacking a sonata by De Beriot. On the left of the
great square hall was the dining-room filled with a gormandising
crowd ; and on the lawn outside there was a subsidiary buffet under
a pollarded Spanish chestnut which spread its rugged venerable
limbs over a wide circle of turf, and made a low-roofed tent of leaves
that fluttered and shivered in the sultry atmosphere.
Every class was represented at Lady Fridoline's garden-party ; or
rather it might be said that everybody in London whom any one
could care to see was to be found on her ladj'ship's lawn or was to
be hunted for in her ladyship's extensive shrubberies. Literature
and the Stage were not more conspicuous than Church and Bar—
Church represented by its most famous preachers. Bar by its most
notorious advocates, to say nothing of a strong contingent of popular
curates and clever .■-ituff gowr.s.